Should a Sponsored Blog be started up?

Discussion in 'Site and Forum Feedback' started by the8thark, Mar 7, 2015.

  1. the8thark, Mar 7, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2015

    the8thark macrumors 68040

    the8thark

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2011
    #1
    Currently there exists
    • Mac Blog
    • iOS blog
    Both do their job fine. No issues there. But of recent we have been seeing an influx of articles being put into these areas that fit neither category. I would like to refer to these articles as Sponsored articles. I am not against these articles existing on these forums. I understand why they exist and I think it's a great thing for the forums. I like the fact that they exist.

    But . . . there is one issue. These articles are not really Mac or iOS rumours. And people reading the Mac and iOS blogs have to skip past these Sponsored articles to get to the rumours they care about. But I have a possible solution for this.
    To create another blog and call it Sponsored Blog or something similar. I only chose this name so it could be defined in this topic. It's name can be anything, that doesn't matter. I think having this new blog area has many good points to it.

    Pros
    • The Sponsored articles can still be on the front page and people will easily know if a blog article is Mac or iOS or Sponsored.
    • People who want to visit the Mac or iOS blog area will not see any Sponsored articles there. Less non rumour clutter there.
    • The people who want quick access to product and app reviews, competitions advertising and other such things can easily find it in the Sponsored Blog area.
    • Correctly categorising all the blog articles is always a good thing and this idea attempts to improve this.
    • This in no way diminishes the ways in which these Sponsored blog articles can be shown on the front page.
    • This removes the "is this an article or advertising" comments and questions clogging up the forums as people will know right away if they are reading a Mac or iOS or Sponsored Blog article.
    • Very easy to categorise the articles into the 3 blog areas. Even now most people can tell which Mac and iOS blogs should really be in the Sponsored Blog area.

    Cons
    I cant think of any to be honest apart from the time needed to make this change happen and this change needing the staff here to actually agree to it before it'll happen. But if anyone can think of any cons to this, feel free to share them here.

    This is my idea, to make these kind of Sponsored articles feel more welcome in these forums. I understand why they exist. And I'm glad they do. I just feel with a few small changes as to how these kind of blog articles are categorised in these forums, the members here will be more accepting of them. And these kind of articles will be much easier to access and search in their own blog area. And will make the other two Blogs easier to search too.

    Thank you for your time.

    [edit]
    • Product review articles
    • App review articles
    • Competition articles
    • Product/app announcement articles (ie X company has just or will be soon releasing Y product/app)
    Are some examples of Sponsored articles that this post is talking about.
     
  2. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Location:
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    #2
    I really don't understand why so many people here have a problem with the posts.

    They fit in perfectly fine.

    Please don't tell me you think that the guys over at The Verge, Ars, 9to5, etc aren't getting this stuff from the companies either. MR even has a statement: http://www.macrumors.com/privacydmca.html

    They tell you the pros and cons, and don't necessarily tell you to go out and buy the product in question.
     
  3. the8thark, Mar 7, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2015

    the8thark thread starter macrumors 68040

    the8thark

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2011
    #3
    Sure. Maybe sponsored is the wrong word. But they are advertising a product or app. Whether or not MR is paid for the service is not an issue. Even if it's just one of the staff here reviewing X random App they like, it's not a rumour and should not be in the Mac or iOS blog areas. I don't have a problem with the posts existing as I said. I just think they could be handled a lot better if they were in their own category. That's all.

    And I know all the major rumour sites do the same thing.

    http://www.macrumors.com/privacydmca.html
    The issue here is this link applies to news articles. The kind of articles I am referring to are not news articles.

    in short I welcome these kind of articles. I just thought categorising them in a better way would improve the forum. If people do not want this, that's fine. At least the idea was put forward.

    [edit]After thinking, even calling it review blog or any other name will do. The name doesn't matter. It's not about the word sponsored or the blog title. This is about categorising these kind of articles more efficiently.
     
  4. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    #4
    I think you're getting hung up a bit on the Mac and iOS blogs being solely for rumors. They have always contained a mix of content, as has our front page. If all we lived on were rumors, we'd have a pretty bare site...most of what we publish isn't rumor.

    We've recently deployed tags (still a work in progress) to help better group stories on similar topics, and we are also aware that the more we break things down, the more places people will need to go to find our content. That said, we haven't ruled out tweaks to our site organization, and trying to make it easier for people to find the different content types is one of our goals.

    I'm not going to lie...it's extremely frustrating and disheartening the frequency with which our posts are accused of being ads. It doesn't seem to matter that we mention in our FAQ that this is never the case or that we routinely point this out when the accusations pop up.

    TextBlade is a perfect example. We thought it was potentially a really cool product, and our initial coverage got some very good responses, so we jumped at the chance to go more in-depth. Juli spent hours with the folks at WayTools and hours more writing the post, and we're met with accusations that all we did was publish PR that must have been written by the company.

    We've always written to serve our readers, and that's not going to change...you are the lifeblood of the site, and without you we have no audience and no interest from advertisers who pay our bills and salaries. If we don't think readers are going to be interested, we don't write the story. If we do write a story on a topic and it flops, we're probably not going to do another one on the same topic.
     
  5. the8thark thread starter macrumors 68040

    the8thark

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2011
    #5
    Actually I'm not. I am aware MacRumors is just a brand name. And I'm aware a lot of content that is not directly rumours are in those blogs. And that's quite ok.

    Thank you.
    This I will certainly be using when it's fully deployed. I think it's a step in the right direction.

    I happen to agree. I have read the FAQ in detail many times and what you said is correct as per the FAQ. But that doesn't change the fact of how the articles are written. And people do notice this. I'm totally in agreement with the articles existing. And I think the above tags will really help in this. People will see the tag and know what angle the article is coming from. Be it a rumour or news or a review or whatever.

    I read that article and thought it was really well written. But the article does sound a little like a PR stunt, even though it's not. And I think the tags above mentioned will really sort this out. I really want to see the reviews stay. They seem to be (shorter) but just as good as the Pre-buy out, Ars Technica reviews. And that is as big as a compliment (to MR) as it sounds. Those old Ars reviews were just amazing.

    Agreed. And this site is one of the best. Seriously I'd not post topics like this if I didn't care about the site and think the site was worth it. And I agree advertising needs to stay, as you said to pay the bills. I'm not against that.

    I think, judging by your response that you fully get my concerns here. And how I do wish for all the "is this advertising" comments away from all the good review and other articles.

    Thank you for your reply and taking the time to understand this side of the issue. And keep up the good work on this site. I know I'll be a sad panda on the day this website closes up shop for good many decades from now.
     
  6. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2014
    Location:
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    #6

    If it's any consolation I thought the response was way out of proportion, most were cringe worthy. If I was the author of that article it would be my last. There was only one criticism that I agreed with and that was that the author was to verbose.
     

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